The new musical EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE that generated a lot of buzz in Sheffield earlier this year has now transferred to London’s Apollo Theatre. Described as the ‘Billy Elliot for today’s generation’, it tells the story of Jamie New, a sixteen year-old schoolboy living on a Sheffield council estate who beats bullies and prejudice to go to the school prom in full drag. It’s based on the 2011 BBC documentary about secondary student Jamie Campbell’s ambition to become a drag queen.
The lead role is played by twenty-five year-old John McCrea who grew up near Sheffield and began his London stage career at the age of nine in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at the Palladium. In his five-star review for the Independent, Paul Taylor wrote, “the extraordinary bravura of John McCrea’s performance is the right mix of sas and sensitivity and strength.” I caught up with John before Saturday’s matinee at the stage door where he signed this montage sketch for me.